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Past Course Descriptions

Course Listings - Fall 2007

DEPARTMENT OF PHILOSOPHY
COURSE DESCRIPTIONS
Fall 2007

PHIL 102R 01.  Introduction to Philosophy
4.00 credits
Staff

Prerequisite:  None
This course is an introductory examination of the basic areas of philosophy, addressing questions like the following:  How do we know if an action is right or wrong, and are any actions universally wrong?  Is "beauty" really only in the eye of the beholder, or are there objective standards in the visual, musical, and literary arts?  What sorts of things exist, for instance, do any non-physical things (such as minds, souls, or spirits) exist?  Do we have free will, or are our behaviors and thoughts determined by chemical and physical events in our brains?  Is knowledge possible and, if so, how do we know what we know?  And is there a genuine difference between reasoning and coercion, between persuasion and
manipulation, and how can we tell?

PHIL 103R 01.  Ethics & Identity
4.00 credits
Reed, Don

Prerequisite:  None
This is an introductory level course in ethics and social identity, exploring the ways our moral principles and ethical ideals are related to our places and identities within concrete social systems.  The goals of the course are to teach a method of moral decision-making, to enable students to understand how moral norms are in some sense relative and yet also in some sense objective, to explore ways that we are all to some extent selfish and yet to some extent always already in relations of interdependence and cooperation with others.  Primary texts by theorists such as J.S. Mill, Kant, Hume, Butler, Aristotle, and Plato are studied. Evaluations will be based on daily quizzes, periodic short tests, and a final exam.

PHIL 200R 01.  Race, Gender, Science & Medicine 
4.00 credits
McHugh, Nancy

Prerequisite:  None
Race, Gender, Science and Medicine will critically analyze the following:
1.  The role of race and gender in science and medicine; i.e. how these impact the doing of science and medicine.  2. How science and medicine have studied race and gender. 3. The interaction between science, medicine, and marginalized people.  4. Case studies in science and medicine. Students will take weekly quizzes, present science, medicine and news topical papers, complete a midterm and final, and give a final presentation.

PHIL 200R 02.  Race, Gender, Science & Medicine
4.00 credits
McHugh, Nancy

Prerequisite:  None
See description above.

PHIL 200R 03.  Applied Ethics
4.00 credits
Staff

Prerequisite:  None
This course is a  study of one or more areas of practical ethics, e.g., in medicine/health care, business, engineering, law, or the environment.  This course does not presuppose earlier course work in ethics.  Students will be introduced to ethical reasoning and decision-making in one or more professional and practical domains

PHIL 200R 04.  Applied Ethics
4.00 credits
Staff

Prerequisite:  None
See description above.

PHIL 310 1W.  Ancient & Medieval Philosophy
4.00 credits
Reed, Don

Prerequisite:  One prior course in PHIL or permission.
This course is an introduction to the historical method of philosophical reflection and an introduction to the philosophers of a particular period and a particular tradition (ancient Greek to medieval European).  As part of the first goal, we will observe the historical nature of philosophical thinking, i.e., the way it develops historically, not by accident but by its very nature.  We will trace one tradition of answers to questions variously answered by four particular notions (which themselves are reformulated over and over again):  (1) the notion that abstractions (like geometrical figures and the periodic table of elements) are the true objects of knowledge, (2) the notion that it is sometimes very difficult if not impossible to do what you know is good and not to do what you know is bad, (3) the notion that to be real and to be excellent are the same, i.e., that being and goodness are identical, and (4) the notion that the soul is immortal and lives on after the body decays and ceases.  Students will take a mid-term and a final exam and write four papers.  Writing intensive.

PHIL 312 1W.  Contemporary Philosophy
4.00 credits
McHugh, Nancy

Prerequisite:  PHIL 211R or PHIL 311 or permission of instructor.
By taking this class, students should  1) gain a basic understanding of philosophical movements in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries   2) gain a greater understanding of the ideas that shaped contemporary philosophy and the context in which those ideas developed 3) gain a greater appreciation
of the diverse world around them and a greater understanding of the extent to which the past shapes the present  4) improve their written and oral communication skills, gain greater perspective and hone their
critical and analytical skills (such as the ability to distinguish between fact and interpretation) and finally  5) nurture intellectual curiosity and skepticism and enjoy having a supportive audience with
which to share ideas. Students will be expected to write weekly reaction papers, one book review, and one final scholarly paper that will have multiple due dates.
 

PHIL 490 1W.  Independent Study
1.00-4.00 credits
Staff
Prerequisite:  Permission required.

PHIL 491 01.  Internship
1.00-4.00 credits
Staff
Prerequisite:  Permission required.

 

 

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